How many companies have you heard of that have a ‘toxic’ environment? One where the workplace is characterised by negative attitudes, poor interpersonal relationships, bad work styles which affect the morale and productivity of employees and impacts on efficiency, customer service and the profitability of an organisation.
Employee engagement and company culture
So how do you improve employee engagement? Several studies have shown that a ‘toxic’ or negative company culture can be improved by high levels of employee engagement and effective communication irrespective of market and business.
But this does not mean an organisation just saying “we’ll send out emails to all staff” as both communication and engagement needs to be so much more than this. Employers need to open two-way dialogue at all levels, involve employees in the decision-making processes and ultimately promote engagement in the company mission and values. This process has two benefits, the first is that employees feel informed about the direction of the company, allowing them to promote this externally. The second is that the company attracts applicants that have the same values and objectives.
When employees feel involved and engaged in the direction of the business, their commitment to the company and its goals increases, lending to a higher retention rate and improvement to overall company culture. With current staff aligned with the values of the business, it sets the foundations for new employees to know that they are part of the larger organisation.
Using HR technology to engage employees
So, to increase employee engagement within your organisation you involve them, try to see the world through their eyes and stay connected with and be aware of their milestones and issues.
HR technology now plays a vital role in helping to promote consistency in management styles and enables a continuous two-way dialogue. This gives employees the opportunity to share their workplace issues and helps to develop trust.
Enlightened organisations are ditching the annual appraisal in favour of continuous assessments and are increasingly using instant feedback tools.
While the needs of staff may vary, organisations must understand the basic needs of their employees to be valued, recognised and respected. Whilst HR technology cannot replace the personal touch it does provide a quick, easy way to manage employee data and facilitate employee engagement in a consistent, continuous way.
While investing in employee engagement has not always been high on the agenda. The increasing evidence showing the positive correlation between profitability and employee engagement has meant improving company culture has become a boardroom priority. Forward thinking organisations are turning to HR technology to help facilitate these initiatives especially in competitive markets where companies have to work leaner and more efficiently than ever before to stay ahead
So, watch this space as employee engagement is used in the battle against toxic workplaces with HR tech providing increasingly useful tools for managers.